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14 things that need a letter grading system more than cabs

Will Gleason

Pretty soon, delinquent taxi drivers may have to get as creative as underperforming restaurants when it comes to dealing with public (and potentially embarrassing) letter grades. Get ready to see a lot of signs advertising Brakes! and Brisk Service!

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca is reportedly finalizing details on a bill that would assign letter grades to taxi drivers the same way the city currently evaluates bars and restaurants. That means a giant paper C could one day make you think twice about getting in a cab the same way it currently makes you (almost) reconsider that spontaneous brunch spot.

“It’s a great thing,” said Noah Budnick, a spokesperson for the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. “Accountability is essential to saving lives. It’s a very strong accountability proposal.”

But let’s be honest, if you were really in a rush to get somewhere, would you actually decide not to get in a cab if it had a below-A rating? In fact, we can think of quite a few aspects of New York life that could use a letter grading system much more than cabs:

  • Stores based on level of rudeness: F for "Fucking rude!" and A for "Absolutely delightful!"
  • Elevators, especially at subway stations: It would be nice to know before you get in if you're going to be required to hold your breath for four minutes to get down one level.
  • Leg room in Broadway theaters
  • Dog walkers (F if they lose the dog.)
  • Street-meat vendors
  • Ice cream trucks, even though it would be a major buzzkill 
  • CMJ Showcases, though they might have to grade on a curve
  • Waterways (Looking at you, Gowanus)
  • Bodegas: based solely on their quality of late-night snacks
  • Cops
  • "Delivery" "Services" (you know what we mean...)
  • Bus routes: Why do some come all the time and some never come at all? The eternal mystery.
  • Landlords
  • Subway performers. F for the platform hogs, A for the future stars. 


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